COVID Relief & Federal Research Funding

Immediate relief funding is needed to put the US scientific enterprise on the trajectory necessary to fully and quickly recover from this pandemic.

Scientists pouring liquid into a test tube

The federal government is the largest supporter of fundamental research. For more than half a century, the US government’s commitment to funding early-stage research—through NSF, DOE Office of Science, NIST, the DOD Basic Research Organizations, and other federal agencies—at our colleges, universities and research institutions has helped position the United States as a global leader in science, technology and innovation.

While APS recognizes the need for thoughtful and measured federal spending, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the research community. With competitor nations across Europe and Asia taking steps to not only ensure their scientific enterprises are quickly restored after the pandemic ends, but in fact bolster them, we must build on Congress’s bipartisan support of scientific research demonstrated in recent years.

Immediate relief funding is needed to put the US scientific enterprise on the trajectory necessary to fully and quickly recover from this pandemic. Additionally, sustained, robust funding for the federal science agencies through the annual appropriations process is essential to maintain the United States’ innovative edge in national security, energy security, scientific leadership and economic prosperity.

It’s now our job now to ensure the strength of our research enterprise and ask Congress to prioritize science.

Members of Congress must ensure the vitality of the US scientific ecosystem by:

  1. including at least $26 billion in relief funding for the federal science agencies, as outlined in the RISE Act, in the next COVID-19 relief bill
  2. prioritizing in their appropriations requests robust funding increases for the DOE Office of Science, the DOD Basic Research Organizations, NIST’s Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) and NSF

Failing to do so could result in the loss of several years of research investment, slow down the innovations that would result from the research, and would enable our competitors to surge past us.

The Impact of Personalized Emails

Although personalizing your email with your own experiences and anecdotes may take a few extra minutes, research shows that it is well worth the time. According to a Congressional Management Foundation survey, individualized emails are the second most effective method overall for positively influencing a member’s decision on an issue. Individualized email messages are also 64% more effective than form email messages.

Furthermore, 83% of congressional staff surveyed said that it would take more than 50 form emails for them to consider taking the action requested. On the other hand, 70% of staff said that it would take less than 50 personalized emails for them to consider taking action. We encourage you to personalize your emails to Congressional members in order to maximize the impact of your voice.

If your Congress member has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, which of the following advocacy strategies might have a positive influence on his/her decision?

How many emails are needed before you consider taking the requested action?